At the start of a House and Senate conference committee convened to reach agreement on legislation to address the opioid abuse crisis, committee member Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) urged committee members to get a result "so we can give a substantial boost to those on the front lines fighting this epidemic."
"Each year Opioid abuse is killing more Tennesseans than car accidents or gunshots do. More than 1,000 Tennesseans die from an opioid overdose or opioid abuse every year," Alexander said. "The way to fight this epidemic is not to wage a distant battle from Washington but for Washington to support those who are fighting on the front lines. That battle is being fought state by state, county by county, doctor's office by doctor's office."
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act passed the Senate 94 to 1. It passed the House 400 to 5. Alexander noted that 184 addiction advocacy groups have signed a letter saying they support the conference report.
"This is an important bipartisan bill that has had the input and hard work of many members," Alexander said. "Senators Whitehouse, Portman, Ayotte, and Klobuchar in last February and they have 39 additional cosponsors. And the report includes everything from Senator Warren's Reducing Unused Medication Act to Senator Shaheen's bill to help states improve prescription drug monitoring programs."
What is an Opioid? Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors to produce morphine-like effects and are often prescribed by doctors in Tennessee and beyond to releaive pain.